Julie Montross brings more than 20 years of experience in strategic planning, sponsorship and exhibit sales, communications, public relations, and marketing. Julie has been a part of senior management teams in the association space for the last 15 years, with a focus on advancing higher education and serving the manufacturing industry. Julie has a strong track record of growing and creating new non-dues revenue streams through sponsorships and exhibit sales. She has a philosophy rooted in collaboration with exhibitors and sponsors creating outside-the-box ideas for meaningful involvement and branding. Julie’s extensive marketing and communications background also includes serving as a strategic contributor in the expansion of the vast media portfolio of the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute, a trade association.
Julie has a deep-rooted connection to, and understanding of, the club culture being married to a PGA Golf Professional (working for a private club) and having served as Senior Sales Director at Pine Needles and Mid Pines Golf Resorts in Southern Pines, NC, early in her career. Julie is a dedicated volunteer in her community of Old Town Alexandria, VA, serving on the City of Alexandria’s Commission for the Arts.
Ava Spece joined CMAA in 2020 and serves as the Director of Development for The Club Foundation. She has more than 20 years experience leading both not-for-profit and for-profit companies, primarily in visual and performing arts. As a philanthropic leader of organizations in Texas, Virginia, and DC, she has substantially increased the revenue of each organization she has championed.
At CMAA, she is responsible for overseeing The Club Foundation's critical scholarship program, which provides professional development grants to clubs, chapters, club staff, and students. She takes the lead on securing the funding needed to fulfill the foundation’s mission.
She has served on multiple advocacy boards including DC Advocates for the Arts and Virginians for the Arts. She has presented in various university, adult education, and community settings and presented to the National Endowment for the Arts, in addition to the Texas and Virginia state legislatures and DC Council. She had the privilege of bringing youth musicians to perform for Bush and Obama administrations at the White House and has been interviewed for numerous press outlets including NPR and the Washington Post.
She has continued her education in nonprofit administration as a participant in the Standards of Excellence program and DeVos Institute. Ava holds a bachelors degree in music education, enjoys spending her free time painting and walking, and lives with her husband in Northern Virginia.